HOBIE LE MANS (HLM) 2023
808 PESCARA FLEET
ITALY’S MOST PLAYFUL FLEET IN HOBIECAT
Third edition for this particular event was conceived by the Commodore of the 808 Fleet of Pescara, resuming and remodelling what was done years ago with the sixteen Hobies in part in the Merit Cup in Cagliari or Palermo.
The fundamental and main inspiring concept is always that of aggregation. The target was once again achieved: twelve Hobie 16 participants, but it could have been fifteen (15!) with the cats of Emilio, Marco De F. and Mario F. arrived at the Barracuda nautical base in Pescara North without crew and, discouraged in participation as helmsmen, made themselves available as crew. It is true that the event formula stipulates that, “if any coxswain is without a crew, he is “loaned” by another crew not participating in that battery,” but unfortunately, other previously registered coxswains were also without one.
This type of event, as was noted at the 8th Raid (read https://hobieclass.com/pescara-raid-2023-hosted-by-hobie-fleet-808/ ), aggregates a lot of Hobie sailors, whether they are little ones, youths or masters, at their first experience or already experienced sailors. The Hobie Way of Life 808 is fully respected: the concept is to have fun with the Hobie cat. So not only the Hobie regatta.
The 2023 events of the Pescara fleet have seen an average participation of 12-15 hobie16s on the starting line, be it regatta, AHCC (Adriatic Hobie Cat Cup) sail, RAID or HOBIE LE MANS. Although the latest census of sixteen in town is almost 40 boats, not counting Dragoon and the 18, it is impossible to always have, due to various commitments, the presence of the “active” (about 25/30 crews) in the organized event. For the record, the most attended event in years still reached 23 cats.
The HLM regulations state that:
“The start is the same as the famous 24-hour Le Mans car race. In this case, the Hobie cat 16 is on the foreshore held by the jib reins by the crew while the other crew member will run from a certain distance (almost 100 mt) to reach the mate to start.
The crews will compete in qualifying batteries (in groups of 4 boats to avoid criticality especially when exiting and returning from the breakwater reefs positioned parallel to the foreshore), and then there will be repechage losers in further “last chance” battery to pass round, then semi-finals and finals.
During the skipper meeting there will be a drawing of marbles (those of the cyclists suitably repurposed in the image with the faces of the owner cats) for the drawing of the windward-leeward of the boats placed in the starting line: ruled out the possibility of doing it based on a ranking 808’s difficult to rank since not all crews have participated in previous events. The alphabetical and alphanumeric chronological sequences on the scoreboard give the right to choose the position in the starting line.
Obstructing the opponent in the foot race is prohibited under penalty of DSQ. Also fairness on the water is observed with racing rules, especially in the basic rule of “obstacle reefing.”
Race and boat start line judges are provided: it is forbidden to move before the start for the race. the boat also must be stationary before the mate arrives and touches the boat in the foreshore. only after that can you start.
The exit into the open sea from the rocks can take place in 3 openings (as per the indicative arrows of the plan in the skipper meeting) while the return to the beach, after turning the buoy (positioned upwind, to be left to the left), must take place strictly within the Barracuda channel, compulsorily within the white flags at the entrance.
Upwind buoy positioned before the first battery: if the wind direction changes later for the other batteries, possibly it will be repositioned.
Main rule and very important: in case the registered skipper does not have “his” crew, one will be boarded on loan from other non-competing 808 crew obviously in that battery. The purpose is to get everyone to play.”
Having read the rules to the participants, the morning continued with group photos all wearing DRY-TECH lycras donated by the sponsor Scavolini store kitchens Pescara-Chieti, very faithful to 808’s events: the background to the photos are “the flags that garriscono al vento” (a phrase by fellow citizen Gabriele D’Annunzio) as well as mainsail No. 118084. Full sunny day, almost summer temperature, absolutely not cold but pleasant Tramontana north wind with an intensity varied during the trials from 5 to 8 knots maximum, ideal for everyone, beginners and not. Important: event only held at this time of year with the beach without umbrellas and/or Hawaiian palm trees and with very few swimmers.
For this type of “game” the crew must be complete: in the run, short and to be a real sprinter, but also powerful in pushing the cat to overcome the first few meters of low bathymetry (risk of cat run aground by sand), then be quick in lowering rudder blades to pass the reef exit gap first and, finally, good in sailing in the choice of right tacking upwind and slack.
Tightly contested trials with some very tight finishes to the finish pole where the bell to be rung was positioned. Filming and photos from so many vantage points, even from the masthead of the catamaran.
There was not the usual awards ceremony and crew party as “there will be 2 editions of HOBIE LE MANS 2023:, the first on Saturday, 30.09, an event without party and awards ceremony, the second HOBIE LE MANS 2023 REVENGE – rematch (still hoping for a clement weather October) on Sunday, 15.10 always from 11 am with party and awards ceremony in the afternoon. Then if the temperatures do not permit there will be a special day of celebration. These will still be days to be together happily on the water and on the beach for fun and sailing together. Free to participate in both, awards from 2 different events. Remember that The Hobie Way808 is forever!”
Meanwhile, for crews racers, Saturday 7 and Sunday 8, two days of Multiclass Hobie cat regatta organized by the sailing club Svagamente.
Only for some, with the harsher weather, the season on the water will end soon but not the festivities and the indoor fleet aggregation: see you soon for the awards ceremony of the 2023 edition of BEAT THE LAST 808, MERCANT IN FAIR 808 (table card game), ……. All in all, STAY in touch 808 because the season doesn’t end here!